KETTLE FALLS, Wash. - The father of suspected MLK day bomber Kevin Harpham is defending his son, claiming there is no way Kevin could have planted the bomb in Downtown Spokane because he was with him at his Kettle Falls home.
The bomb was originally reported as a suspicious package when city workers found the black backpack and notified police. When officers opened the backpack they found an explosive device wrapped in t-shirts. Two of the shirts in the bag tipped off FBI agents to look for a suspect in Stevens County, which eventually led them to Kevin Harpham.
In an exclusive phone interview with KXLY4's Sally Showman, Cecil says his home was searched along with his son's and that they took screwdrivers, screws, and rat poison. Cecil admits the rat poison might look incriminating, but said every farmer has it on their property.
Cecil also said that he is his son's alibi because Kevin was with him at his home near Kettle Falls the day the bomb was planted.
?Just breaks my heart, sometimes I cry, sometimes I don't,? Cecil said. ?It really hurts my feelings to hear all these lies.?
Cecil suffered a stroke in November and says Kevin cared for his every need through January.
?I know he didn't go plant it because he was with me,? Cecil said. ?He helped me dress, he cooked my meals, he did my chores, he brought my firewood in and he just lived right here with me.?
Although he says there was no way Kevin planted the bomb, he can't disprove that Kevin was involved in building it.
?Maybe he might of helped them build a bomb, he might have, might have helped them build a bomb,? Cecil said and in the next breath said his son doesn't know how to build bombs and recalled a conversation with Kevin about a bomb making book he read.
?He said I bought the book and I read it and is so disappointed because there was no directions to build a bomb,? Cecil said.
As for a motive, Cecil says his son identifies himself as a racist.
?Picture that if you had a son and he said I hate Negroes, but you go with him somewhere and he meets, he goes to a cashier to pay for his gas and you see him being very polite to this Negro and courteous and you stand back and you say jeepers, for a hater, he don't know how to hate,? Cecil said.
He says his son hates individual black people, not the whole race.
?What Negroes he met, he don't like or there was a few, there is a lot of them that he hasn't met that are really wonderful people,? Cecil said.
Cecil maintains he knows nothing about the bomb or his son's involvement, but he says he doesn't believe it was a viable device.
?This bomb really wasn't a bomb, it didn't go off, they couldn't even blow it up with explosives besides it, if anything it was a really cruel joke,? Cecil said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has confirmed that in 2004 Kevin was a member of a well-known hate group called The National Alliance.
Cecil says his son never belonged to a formal racist group, but was actively involved in chatting with other racists online.
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